Although small cactuses and tiny succulents look adorable on a window sill, larger homes need a bigger, statement plant that can at least fill out a corner of their homes.
While many people have been buying tall bamboo shoots of the massive Elephant Ear plant for this purpose, many Americans are starting to go for the Dracaena Marginata plant, as it seems to be making quite a successful comeback over the previous years.
The Dracaena Marginata, popularly known as the Dragon Tree, is a tall indoor planter characterized by its long and thin green leaves, which are often deep red or purple around the edges.
Apart from its undeniable beauty and incredible height that make it the perfect addition to a wide-open living or office space, people seem to love investing in the Dracaena Marginata plant because of its unmatchable tolerance.
The Dracaena Marginata
While most indoor plant species will take less than a fortnight to shrivel up and die if their needs are not met, an indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant will continue to stand tall and remain ever-green even when it is left at home, unattended, for multiple weeks.
However, although the Dracaena Marginata plant is valued around the globe for its resilience and unique ability to thrive on neglect, it is essential to know the basic care routine this plant requires to develop its strength and tolerance in the first place.
Usually, the falling out of its leaves is the first sign that the Dracaena Marginata plant is kept in the wrong conditions or deprived of proper care.
However, what causes the leaves of such a strong plant to fall out, and what can be done to help cure such a weak Dracaena Marginata plant in a timely manner?
To learn all you need to know about this, keep reading.
The Basic Care Routine of an Indoor Potted Dracaena Marginata Plant
No matter how strong and resistant a plant species is, it still needs a proper care routine that allows it to develop that strength and immunity in the first place.
If you deprive your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant of its most basic care routine during the early years of its growth, not only will the plant die before reaching maturity, but most of its leaves will either lose color or fall out during the plant’s life.
Hence, if you’re looking to enjoy your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant’s decade-long beauty and company, it is best to know how you can care for this tall plant.
Some of the most basic care tips for an indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant are as follows:
- Water your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant only once every fifteen to twenty days.
- However, it is important to change the watering routine according to external conditions.
- This means that when the weather is too hot, ideally water it once in two weeks, or if the weather is too cold, watering it once every month should be fine.
- Moreover, place your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant in a well-lit room with sufficient indirect sunlight.
- Ensure that the potting mix of the Dracaena Marginata plant is slightly acidic.
- Furthermore, place your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant in front of an open window that allows fresh air in.
What Can Cause the Leaves of an Indoor Potted Dracaena Marginata Plant to Fall Out?
It is important to know that it is not uncommon for the leaves of a Dracaena Marginata plant to fall out during its lifetime.
Before we proceed to discuss what can be done when a Dracaena Marginata plant’s leaves fall out, it is important to know what may cause the leaves to fall out in the first place.
If your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant loses a few leaves every other week, there is no need to get worried as this is quite common for the plant.
In order to grow taller and encourage new leaf growth, the Dracaena Marginata plant will often lose its bottom leaves.
This allows more nourishment to get carried up to the top of the plant, eventually allowing new leaf growth and helping the plant get taller.
However, if the Dracaena Marginata is losing leaves every single day and is not showing signs of any new leaf growth, it is important to inquire about what might have gone wrong.
Some common practices that often cause an indoor planted Dracaena Marginata plant to lose leaves at an abnormal rate are as follows:
As mentioned above, an indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant needs to be watered only once in twenty days.
Even when it does get watered, it is important to ensure that the pot allows proper drainage so that no excess water accumulates inside the pot and is instead used to only maintain a certain amount of moisture in the soil.
However, if one continues to overwater their potted Dracaena Marginata plant, the accumulated water will create a medium that encourages fungal growth.
If any airborne fungal spores do settle on the Dracaena Marginata plant’s overwatered soil, it will take only a few days for the fungus to spread throughout the plant’s soil till it fully covers the plant’s roots.
When this happens, the roots of the Dracaena Marginata plant will decay and die. As a result, an insufficient amount of water is carried up the plant, causing it to dehydrate.
If these conditions continue, the leaves of the Dracaena Marginata plant will lose their ability to remain open and will instead turn yellow and curl inwards.
Eventually, the dried-up leaf will be weak enough to fall off the plant and die.
Although an indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant has the potential to remain ever-green and healthy even after receiving no water for a month, persistent underwatering can be quite damaging.
When the soil is too dry, the roots of the Dracaena Marginata plant have no water to transport up the plant.
Since water is one of the key ingredients needed for photosynthesis, a lack of water will prevent the plant from making the food it needs to survive.
As a result, the leaves will no longer have the nourishment or strength to remain open and will curl inwards before they eventually fall off.
An indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant is best-suited to grow in a well-lit room with sufficient indirect sunlight.
Although direct sunlight will heat its leaves, dark and gloomy conditions will also negatively affect the plant’s ability to carry out photosynthesis to produce food.
As a result, with prolonged periods of insufficient nourishment, the leaves of a growing Dracaena Marginata plant will fall off as it loses its ability to remain upright.
Too Much Sunlight
As mentioned above, excessive direct sunlight can cause the leaves of a Dracaena Marginata plant to overheat.
When this happens, the plant will start transpiring out water to bring down its body temperature.
If too much water leaves the Dracaena Marginata plant, dehydration will eventually lead to its leaves drying up and falling off.
Dry Weather Conditions
If the external weather is too dry, water will be forced to diffuse out of a Dracaena Marginata plant’s leaves down a concentration gradient.
If this continues, the dehydration will cause the plant to lose its leaves at an alarming rate.
What to Do When My Indoor Potted Dracaena Marginata Plant Leaves Start Falling off?
Anytime your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant leaves begin to fall rapidly, you must start essential care and curative measures to help the plant survive a potential premature death.
Hence, if the leaves of your Dracaena Marginata plant are falling out, practice the following tips listed below:
- The first tip is to examine the conditions of the plant’s soil. If the soil is too dry, use a spray bottle to dampen the soil just enough so that water can reach down to the bottom of the plant.
- For this, dip your bare fingers or a dry stick into the plant’s soil to check whether moisture is present all the way to the lowest layer of the plant’s soil.
- If the leaves tend to be falling out due to overwatering, either tilt the pot to drain out any accumulated water, or proceed with a repotting.
- For this, fill another vessel with a fresh batch of potting mix and repot the carefully removed Dracaena Marginata plant inside it.
- However, before you repot the plant, take the opportunity to examine the plant’s roots. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any soil, and take a pair of pruning shears to trim off any dead or decayed root bits.
- Moreover, make sure to repot the Dracaena Marginata plant in a potting mix that is rich in micronutrients and is slightly acidic in nature.
- Finally, when the plant has been repotted inside the dry mix, use a spray bottle to dampen it just enough to make it slightly moist.
- Moreover, if you have made the mistake of placing your Dracaena Marginata plant in a dark corner of the room, move it in front of a window that allows sufficient indirect sunlight to pass through.
- However, if you live in a region where long periods of cloud cover are normal, it is best to invest in a solar lamp to provide the Dracaena Marginata plant with the light energy it needs to carry out photosynthesis.
- Furthermore, if the conditions of your living space are too dry, it is best to invest in a humidifier.
- However, if the conditions are too humid, invest in a better ventilation system, or place your Dracaena Marginata plant in front of an open window that gets sufficient fresh air.
- Finally, examine the Dracaena Marginata plant’s soil, stem, and leaves for any pest infestation and use an appropriate pesticide accordingly.
From being able to retain its gorgeous red and green markings throughout its lifetime to being one of the very indoor house plant species that can thrive on negligence for an extended period, the stunning Dracaena Marginata plant is a gem from the Madagascar island.
However, although one can leave their indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant at home unattended for multiple weeks, it is important that the plant is provided the proper care when it begins to show signs of weakness and poor health.
Hence, if your indoor potted Dracaena Marginata plant leaves are falling out, you should repot it into a fresh batch of highly-nutritious and slightly acidic mix, along with correcting its most basic care routine.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.